Eighteen panellists, four episodes, four topics, one focus: working together to make healthcare the best it can be.

Thank you to everyone (610 views so far) who tuned in to our inaugural webcast series: Sharing Power: Co-design with consumers for impact and equity during 25 May – 3 June.

Our Annual Forums are renowned for bringing together expertise across consumer partnerships and whilst we could not meet face-to-face this year, we were delighted to still be able to bring you together with inspiring consumer and carer representatives, health staff, and NGO staff representing consumers and carers to discuss what it takes to truly share decision-making power.

Value-based healthcare is key to consumers getting the very best health outcomes physically, emotionally and culturally. In our final episode, we looked at how consumers can be involved in making decisions that embed value-based health care in the system.

Effective engagement lies at the heart of sharing decision-making power but why does engagement miss the mark for so many consumers? Our third episode focused on what health organisations can do to successfully engage with Queenslanders who are too often dismissed as ‘hard to reach’.

In our second episode, our panelists showcased successful consumer-led “co-design” projects and explored what is needed to achieve genuine co-design. As one panellist, consumer representative, Phil Carswell, observed, “That change in the power dynamic is incredibly important and hard for both sides. But in the end, it yields a better product for both.”

None of these discussions would have been possible without health organizations’ ability and willingness to move online during 2020. In our first episode, consumers and health staff talked about how many engagement activities have actually become more accessible and more democratic than ever before. But 2020 also revealed a yawning digital divide across Queensland so where do we go to from here?

Over the coming weeks, Health Consumers Queensland will be looking at this question and all the other questions, challenges, insights, stories and lessons which came out of every single episode because we know that now more than ever, decision-makers need to have the skills, willingness and courage to work shoulder-to-shoulder with consumers to make some difficult decisions as the economic consequences of COVId-19 become clearer.

By sharing decision-making power, we can together build a health system that is fair, equitable and meets the needs of the people who use the system and those who serve it.

Once again, we’d like to thank all our panellists, Queensland Health for their sponsorship and support, Director-General of Queensland Health, Dr John Wakefield, our event partners, Iceberg Events, Select Audio Visual, and the team & Board at Health Consumers Queensland.

Watch all the episodes >